home in rural roadside field

at the age of 18 i moved from middle class suburbia, to living in a caravan in a roadside field. i had to quickly learn to make radical lifestyle adjustments but had a happy three month solitary experience. it gave me a measure of insight into the lives of ‘Travellers’ – the indigenous ethic Irish Romany-type of people.


  • Midland nights spent all alone
    no near neighbours, no telephone,
    in this caravan prayer exploded up;
    i drank tea from mugs not cups –
    this late-teen slurped, not supped.

    rural darkness was curtained off,
    in distant fields the cattle coughed,
    blessed by buttery-coloured gas light,
    reading bible stories through the night;
    eighteen years old and i’m alright.

    each morning emptied out portaloo
    – yuck! – but what else could i do?
    caravan home in rural roadside field
    behind some hedges, half-concealed;
    when i prayed i sat, not kneeled.

    i got my water from hand pump,
    squeaks came from that rusty sump;
    in that small, lonely caravan space
    few friends kindled that pilgrim place –
    but smiles were seen on God’s good face.

    my adventure too soon ended –
    did i mention the horses befriended?
    in midnight hour my caravan rocked,
    grabbed my torch then door unlocked,
    large equinine eyes, equally shocked…


    photo credit: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2588879


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